April 18, 1930 – Sept. 10, 2011

Raymond L. Griffen was able to find peace on the morning of September 10 after a long and persistent struggle with cardiovascular issues.

Ray was born in North East, Pennsylvania, the son of Clarence and Gladys (Walker) Griffen. A graduate of Springfield Township High School in 1948, Ray went into the Army and served in Frankfurt, Germany in the Army Administrative Unit 8620, before being discharged as a Sergeant in 1954. He returned to West Springfield, went to technical school, and worked for decades in the refrigeration business, predominately for Uniflow.

It was in 1979 when he married “the most beautiful girl in the world,” Nancy Olson Schwartz Griffin, the widow of his cousin, Tom Griffin. Nancy and Ray were a perfect match. Together, they enjoyed gardening and bird watching, and lived a happy life in the country. He was a wonderful husband and a great father to Nancy’s children. He was a devoted member of the First Presbyterian Church in North East and provided his deep bass to the choir for many years.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents Clarence and Gladys; his step-mother Grace Meek; his brother Robert; and sister-in-law Patricia. He is survived by his loving wife Nancy; children Eric Schwartz (Penny Smith); Thomas Howard Griffin (Debby Hanby); Maggie Griffin (Chris Stanziale); Barbara (Michael) Thomas; and Winifred (Dima) Lezine; grandchildren Joseph, Elizabeth, Alexandra, Kira, Katrina, Nathan, Justin, and Katia; his brother Charles; sister-in-law Betty; step-brother Robert (Doris) Meek; step-sister Lois Meek; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He is remembered for his love of his wife and family; his smile and friendliness; his booming voice; his sense of humor and ability to pull your leg (especially with kids); his down to earth way of life; his spiritual knowledge of the Bible; his cluttered piles of junk that he would dream of doing something with someday; and his affinity for eating several plates of food and then still having room for pie.

The family would like to thank all the dedicated doctors and nurses, both at the Cleveland Clinic and in Erie, for all their efforts. 

Friends may pay their respects to the family on Saturday, September 17 from 1-2 pm at the North East First Presbyterian Church. A memorial celebration will be held that same day at 2 pm. Memorials can be directed to the church in his memory.

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